Australian survivalist horror Killing Ground follows a smitten young couple on a camping trip...
Australian survivalist horror Killing Ground follows a smitten young couple on a camping trip to a remote woodland spot by a river. It’s picture postcard perfect apart from the 4x4, family tent, chairs and long burnt out fire that greets them. But where are the occupants? The answer to that question and the brutality that befell them is given to the audience before our heroes Sam and Ian find out for themselves.
To be frank, the dread Damien Power builds through this non-linear approach is a masterclass in screenwriting as he weaves together the present day mystery with its murderous recent past while simultaneously giving you context of the wider community and culture of this unwelcoming nowhere place. He channels the urbanoia (Glover, 1993) spirit of Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) or John Boorman’s Deliverance (1972), but without the cartoon hick element. The evil of Power’s antagonists German (Aaron Petersen) and Chook (Aaron Glenane) is invisible to the naked eye. When they’re not out killing there’s a great deal of empathy between them. Although, Petersen’s character is the alpha leading Glenane’s complicit beta male astray in exchange for companionship a la Henry and Otis in Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer (1986).
The film cleverly chooses to shy away from the graphic and obvious exploitative imagery. Instead Power wants the audience to think about what they’re watching. He holds the camera on character’s reactions or shoots a scene from a distance that respects the victims and exposes the violators for who, and what they are. Your mind has already been primed for German and Chook’s savagery, you can fill in the blanks with much worse images from your imagination that Power ever could throw at you on screen for cheap thrills. That’s not to say he avoids controversy of plays it safe. Far from it, there are times during Killing Ground that the violent choices of Chook will make you involuntarily gasp. And the decisions Ian takes once separated from Sam elevate the Force Majeure (2014) dilemma to another level and confront you with the moral question: what is a man meant to do in these situations?
Killing Ground is brilliant reminder that even in this internet era of connectivity physical remoteness from one another is still an alluring reason to live beyond the reaches of the social law urban people take for granted.
Watch KILLING GROUND on Prime ►https://amzn.to/33wzuEM